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Gynecological Conditions & Treatments

Vaginal Candidiasis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal Candidiasis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal Candidiasis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal candidiasis is an extremely common fungal yeast infection of the vagina. This condition is also referred to as vaginal thrush, candidal vulvovaginitis, and vaginal yeast infection. These infections are named after the Candida albicans fungus, as that’s what causes them. Normally, the Candida yeast or fungi are a part of the usual vaginal flora just like the healthy lactobacilli. However, the lactobacilli help keep the Candida in very small numbers to maintain a healthy pH and environment in the vagina. The problem arises when this balance tips towards the Candida and they grow in abnormally high numbers, thus resulting in the vaginal irritation, itching, and odorless discharge, classic signs of a vaginal yeast infection.

This is one of the most common and frequent vaginal infections in women. As many as 20% of the women experience a vaginal yeast infection every year and around 5% are affected by this infection at least thrice in a year, while a significant 75% are likely to experience it at least once in their lifetime. Most women experience a worsening in their symptoms or a new vaginal thrush infection around their periods.

 

Causes of Vagina Candidiasis

Vaginal yeast infections are a direct outcome of excessive colonization or growths of Candida albicans. However, the actual causes or factors that result in an increased growth of this fungus are yet unknown. Even so, several risk factors likely to help Candida thrive in the vagina to attain abnormal levels have been acknowledged. Taking note of these factors is also important in the prevention of recurrent vaginal yeast infections in women who are susceptible to them.

* Medications:

Antibiotics and particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics destroy the good bacteria or the lactobacilli subsequently causing the Candida to thrive. Hence, a course of antibiotics is very likely to result in a vaginal yeast infection. In fact, nearly 30% of the women, who undergo treatment with oral antibiotics, end up with this infection.

* Pregnancy:

Pregnant women are usually at an increased risk of developing vaginal candidiasis, mainly because of increased estrogen levels. This hormone allows the Candida to flourish leading to frequent vaginal yeast infections in pregnancy.

* Underlying diseases:

Diabetes Mellitus and conditions like HIV/AIDS and chemotherapy that may result in a compromised immunity often result in frequent vaginal yeast infections too. Poor sugar control among diabetics is a common risk factor for frequent candidial infections. As for the conditions that result in a compromised immunity, the frequent vaginal yeast infections mainly arise because the body isn’t capable to fight the infections thanks to a poor immune system.

 

Symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis

The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are characterized by itching in and around the genitals. This is the most common and most frustrating of its symptoms. However, a woman may also experience one or more of the following symptoms when affected by a vaginal yeast infection.

* Vulval and vaginal itching

* Soreness and irritation of the vulva

* Painful urination

* Pain during intercourse

* Translucent or white discharge that is generally odorless. The discharge sometimes also appears thick and lumpy like curd or cottage cheese

* Very rarely, severe vaginal thrush infections may also cause swelling or edema of the vulva with severe redness and cracked skin

 

How is Vaginal Candidiasis Treated?

The treatment regimen for vaginal candidiasis is quite straightforward. It mainly involves topical or local application of anti-fungal ointments sometimes coupled with oral administration of anti-fungal medications. Genreally, treatment with azoles topically is much more successful than using nystatin for this purpose. Butoconazole, miconazole, clotrimazole, tioconazole, and terconazole are some of the azoles that are frequently found in the topical suppositories, creams, and ointments used to treat vaginal candidiasis. A single dose of flucanazole taken orally along with the local applications is often used successfully to get rid of these infections too.

 

NovaSure Endometrial Ablation Procedure | PBGS

NovaSure Endometrial Ablation Procedure | PBGS

NovaSure Endometrial Ablation Procedure | PBGS

NovaSure endometrial ablation is a one time, simple and very safe gynecological procedure that consists of removing the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus).  It is usually done under local or spinal anesthesia.

NovaSure is recommended to evaluate and treat painful periods and heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding with every menstrual cycle.

Who Is NovaSure Endometrial Ablation Recommended For?

Endometrial ablation is recommended for woman who have:

  • Painful and heavy periods every month,
  • Anemia due to excessive loss of blood with menstrual periods
  • The need for hysterectomy but for some reason this is contraindicated
  • The need to prevent the uterus.

How Is NovaSure Endometrial Ablation Performed?

NovaSure endometrial ablation has been proved to be very successful. In 90% of the cases the menstrual flow has been reduced or totally stopped. The procedure consists in destroying the inner lining of the uterus by delivering radiofrequency energy, for a couple of seconds. First your doctor will open the cervix of the uterus, insert a slender wand and extend a triangular mesh device inside of the uterus. This mesh device will gently expand and fit the size of your uterus. Through this mesh radio frequent energy is delivered into the uterus, for about 90 seconds. After the procedure is completed, the mesh device is pulled back into the wand and removed from the uterus.

Possible Side Effects

Even though NovaSure endometrial ablation is a safe procedure, effects and complications are possible.

Possible side effects of NovaSure endometrial ablation include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Mild to moderate pain – You may have menstrual-like cramps for a few days. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve cramping after the procedure.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination – You may need to pass urine more often during the first 24 hours after endometrial ablation.
  • Vaginal discharge – A watery discharge, mixed with blood, may occur for a few weeks. The discharge is typically heaviest for the first few days after the procedure.
  • Spotting, etc.

Complications of NovaSure Endometrial Ablation

Complications of NovaSure endometrial ablation are very rare, but when they occur they are very severe and life-threatening. Possible complications of the NovaSure endometrial ablation include:

  • Accidental perforation of the uterus
  • Thermal injuries of the uterus and bowel
  • Cervical laceration (tearing of the cervix-opening of the uterus)
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary edema

When Is This Procedure Contraindicated?

Keep in mind that NovaSure endometrial ablation should be considered only in cases when no future pregnancies are desired. If you and your partner want to have children in the future, NovaSure endometrial ablation is not recommended. However, pregnancies are still possible, even after NovaSure endometrial ablation. In these cases, when a pregnancy occurs after endometrial ablation, there are greater risks for the baby and even for the mother. Since the uterine lining would not be able to properly support the development of the fetus, a pregnancy after NovaSure endometrial ablation will be dangerous. It will likely end in miscarriage.

NovaSure endometrial ablation is also contraindicated in cases when a woman has just recently gave birth, cervical or endometrial cancer, active genital, urinary or pelvic infection or an IUD, after menopause, etc.

Keep in mind that NovaSure endometrial ablation is not a sterilization procedure. Contraception is still needed for woman who have not passed menopause.

You may also need to avoid sexual intercourse for a period of time after the procedure.

Cervical Dysplasia | HPV | What You Need to Know

 

Cervical Dysplasia | HPV |  What You Need to Know

Cervical Dysplasia | HPV | What You Need to Know

Cervical dysplasia is a disorder that affects the cervix, which is the lower end or opening of the uterus. A set of abnormal alterations in the cells of the cervix mark cervical dysplasia. Although, this isn’t really cancer it is considered as a precancerous stage, since the cellular abnormalities in cervical dysplasia are likely to transform into cervical cancer if left untreated. This abnormal or dysplastic appearance of the cervical cells under the microscope is what gives the disorder its name. The level of abnormalities or changes in the cervical cells observed in the cervical tissue biopsies or smears under the microscope are used as a benchmark to grade the severity and extent of this condition.

Generally, this disorder is likely to go unnoticed due to its asymptomatic nature, unless one comes across the cellular changes on a routine examination. However, it’s equally important to detect cervical dysplasia in its initial stages to prevent it from turning into cancer. Hence, educating yourself about this precancerous condition is your best bet against it.

 

What Causes Cervical Dysplasia?

Women between 25 to 35 years of age are most likely to suffer from cervical dysplasia, although it may occur at any age. Certain factors like indulging in sexual intercourse before 18 years of age, giving birth before a woman turns sixteen, multiple sexual partners, smoking, and use of immunity suppressing medications may greatly increase a woman’s risk of developing cervical dysplasia. Another common cause of cervical dysplasia is the HPV or Human Papilloma Virus. This virus generally affects the female genitals and is transmitted through sexual contact. Usually, HPV infections last anywhere between 8 to 13 months and may also recur. However, these infections are silent and asymptomatic just like cervical dysplasia. Thus, avoiding risk factors like multiple sex partners and frequent unprotected or unsafe sexual practices is important to avoid these infections and subsequent cervical dysplasia. Getting yourself vaccinated with the HPV vaccination is also recommended to reduce your risk of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer.

 

How Do You Know If You Have Cervical Dysplasia?

Unlike most other disorders of the female reproductive tract, cervical dysplasia rarely produces any symptoms. So, most womenaren’t even aware about this unseen tripwire within their uterus, until they come across it during a routine pap smear. Hence, regular gynecological evaluations and pap smears are important to help detect cervical dysplasia. However, a pap smear alone does not help diagnose this condition. Abnormal changes indicating cervical dysplasia on a pap smear are further verified with a cervical biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

 

How Is Cervical Dysplasia Treated?

  • The treatment of cervical dysplasia is largely dependent on the severity of the cellular abnormalities or the grade of dysplasia. Mild cervical dysplasia sometimes disappears without any treatment and with careful 6 monthly pap smears alone. The pap smears essentially monitor the changes to make sure the condition isn’t worsening, in which case treatment is mandatory. Cervical dysplasia is treated surgically with cryosurgery to freeze the dysplastic cells, or Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to remove the abnormal cells with electrical stimuli, or cone biopsy to surgically excise the abnormal tissue area, or laser therapy to burn the dysplastic cells. Some extreme or severe cases of cervical dysplasia may also require hysterectomy, wherein the entire uterus is removed surgically. Your doctor is likely to decide the best course of treatment depending on the grade and severity of your cervical dysplasia.

 

 

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Disclaimer:

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.